Scholarship Application Guidelines
In order to help seniors with the challenges of college decisions, scholarships, financial aid, testing and everything else that can add stress to what should be an extra special year, we have created this notebook to try to make all of these things a bit less confusing for you. This document is also included on the Perryton High School Counselor’s webpage. Each section of the notebook has a link on the webpage. You will use this book to help you keep up with scholarships, deadlines, etc. and to use it as a paper reference where you can make notes of changes or items you still need to mark off of your list.
1. Look through the Scholarship Information section at right and note the scholarships that you qualify for and are interested in pursuing. Review the requirements for each scholarship to ensure that you are eligible for the scholarship. Look for restrictions such as applicable colleges, GPA, class rank, ACT/SAT scores, and other special conditions or requirements.
2. Follow your class on Twitter @PHSRangers2018 and keep up with the PHS Counselor’s Facebook Page (Perryton High School Counselor) to keep updated regarding changes in scholarship deadlines, new scholarship offerings, etc. Many times, when the new applications come in or become available, the deadline may vary by a few days from one year to the next. Make note of this in your booklet. We will also post updates along with other important senior notices on the bulletin board beside the library as well as the one outside Mrs. Waide’s office.
3. Most of the scholarship applications are online applications. Some may be submitted online only; others can be completed online but you have to print them off and mail them or turn them in to the office; and others are only on paper. There is a file cabinet in Mrs. Waide’s office that contains the few scholarship applications that can be submitted on paper only. Please check the listing to see how an application must be submitted.
4. You may begin the scholarship application process right now. You will need the following for most applications.
This is a list of high school activities, organizations, offices held, awards, honors, jobs held, etc.
Also include community activities such as church, youth groups, and anything else that you’ve been a part of within the community or within the state (Camp RYLA, Boys / Girls State, etc.). Include your ACT score, class rank, GPA, email address, cell phone number, and mailing address. This additional information will help in case the person completing your recommendation needs to include that information. Plus, if they have questions, they have your contact information. Keep in mind that community service is extremely important for many scholarships. Don't cut yourself short...make sure you list everything! Something that you may think is inconsequential may look very impressive to a selection committee. Keep all of this information saved on your computer or a flash drive. You can then use it to make numerous copies or to make changes in your information. There are several excellent examples at right.
LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION: Page
You will most likely need three letters of recommendation. Recommendation letters carry a lot of weight in the selection process, so ask people who know you well to write letters (teachers, coaches, ministers, employers, etc.). Do not wait until the last minute!!! You should give these people a minimum of two weeks in which to write your letter. These people are doing you a favor, so please return the courtesy – do not put them on the spot when the deadline is near. It will also help the person writing the letter if they have a copy of your resume. Many scholarships require the recommendation letters to be written over very specific topics such as financial need, community service, character, academic achievement, extracurricular activities, etc. The person writing the letter cannot brag on you if they don't know what to brag about. Ask the person writing your letter if they would mind giving you several copies so you do not have to continue to bother them asking for another letter as you apply for multiple scholarships that require recommendation letters.
ESSAY OR STATEMENT OF NEED: Page
Many of the scholarships are going to ask you to write a brief essay on topics such as:
* Why do you feel that you are deserving of this scholarship?
* Why have your chosen your specific field of study?
* What have you done to distinguish yourself from other students?
* What ways have you demonstrated leadership qualities during your high school years?
* Why do you need this scholarship? (are there any extenuating circumstances that increase your need for financial aid – parent unemployed, siblings or parent in college also, etc.)
* What are your plans after graduation?
You may not want to write an essay yet unless you feel that you can incorporate all of these items into one brief essay so it will work for multiple scholarships. Most scholarship applications include an essay, but specific ideas may be requested. Questions will differ on each individual scholarship application. You can at least gather your thoughts and be ready for these questions.
If you need a copy of your transcript for a scholarship, fill out a transcript request form which is located in the red notebook on the counter in front of Mrs. Harris’s desk. Please note whether the transcript needs to be official or unofficial. Also, you may want to have Mrs. Harris make you several copies so you can attach them to each scholarship (as required) so you don’t have to go back and ask for more later.
* You must give her a minimum of three days. Please do not ask her to do it at the last minute!!!
Wallet size photos are requested on several applications, (color or black and white).
5. You are responsible for mailing in your own applications along with any necessary attachments. Please do not ask Mrs. Waide or Mrs. Mills to do this for you unless it is a special scholarship that must be handled through this office directly. BE WARY of any scholarship that requires an application fee! Many times, these scholarships are scams! We do our best to insure that these scholarships are not posted in this guide. However, you may come across some as you search additional websites. Most local scholarships need to be turned in to Mrs. Mills but a few must be delivered to the company or organization sponsoring the scholarship. Please pay attention to the specifics of where your scholarship is to be delivered.
6. Note whether the deadline indicates "must be postmarked by (date)" or “must be received in this office by (date)". Many scholarship applications have been refused because deadline restrictions were not met.
7. Please type all applications!!! This looks much more impressive to the selection committee. Also, some applications may be denied if they are not typed. Since almost all of the scholarships are now available online, this is easy for you to do.
Note: Local scholarship applications can be downloaded and completed at the school’s website.
8. You may also call the financial aid office of the school you plan to attend and ask for additional scholarships for which you can apply. There are a number of scholarships that are distributed only through the universities. Most of these scholarships are also available online.
9. The Perryton High School Counselor’s website is updated frequently as scholarships arrive in the counselor’s office. Please check this site often for new scholarships or changes in deadlines, etc.
11. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask Mrs. Waide or Mrs. Mills for help. This guide is for your benefit and the benefit of your parents as you begin to search for college funds. The following page lists step-by-step directions for working on your local scholarships.